CONSTITUTION: War making and police powers

Constitution signing 1789

Literally, EVERY SINGLE WORD WRITTEN IN THE United States Constitution, has meaning.  EVERY SINGLE WORD.  There is no secret code.  No interpretation required, except maybe Daniel Webster’s dictionary, to understand OUR Constitution.

Anytime someone tells you what is in the Constitution, ask them WHERE?

Our Constitution was written in plain and simple language.

WHY?  So EVERY citizen understood the Powers and Duties granted or given to the Federal Government.

Why?  So Every citizen would understand WHEN the Federal Government was acting beyond the scope of Powers granted to it by the People.  This is also known as acting ILLEGALLY, for when the Federal Government goes beyond it’s granted powers, it is acting without the power to do so.  The Federal Government is only authorized to exercise those powers which were originally granted to it in the Original Constitution, or Amendments adopted in accord with Article V of the Original Constitution.  Further powers cannot be TAKEN by the Government, or GIVEN by the Government, ala’ Supreme Court, without Constitutional Article V procedural & ratified Amendment.

I find nearly everyone (including lawyers) has either; not read Our Constitution, or has forgotten the specific language, and assume:  

  • what someone else has said,
  • is included in Our Constitution,
  • if they agree with the Federal Government taking of the action. 

For more background, you might wish to read my previous posts on The Constitution.

The Federal Government of the United States, is a gift, or grant, of power, limited in scope, from the People of the United States.  The ONLY powers the Federal Government may exercise lawfully, are those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution adopted in 1789, or Amendments adopted in accordance with Article V afterwards.

You can click on the title of the Constitution of the United States and read the entire transcription of the U.S. Constitution hosted at the U.S. Archives.  But remember, every single word has meaning.  Consequently, I am cutting and pasting out of the U.S. Archives transcription of the Original drafts of the Constitution.  I am adding bold, italics, underlining, etc. to emphasize the subject matter I am writing too.

Now think “snapshot” in time when our Constitution was adopted when reading my “Constitution” posts.  This is only a beginning.  This is not intended to include “modern” case law, be a complete treatise up to today, or to be used as legal precedent/argument for actual cases (this is not legal advice).

This is intended to be a “foundation” or genesis, to understanding and instructional for you, the reader.

I challenge you to begin to explore for yourself and gain an understanding, separate and apart from all the propaganda.

(If you find something in the Original Constitution, at the time of adoption, I missed, or am incorrect about, please let me know.  I reserve the right to correct any typos, unclear assertions, mistakes, or assumptions as I discover them.)

Now to the issue of authorized war making and police powers of the Federal Government. 


  • Where does military authority derive from in our Constitution?  Only those specific, enumerated powers, given or granted, to Congress in Article I, Section 8.
  • Was the Federal Government granted local police powers?  No.
  • What Actions or Powers can our Federal Government legally take?  Only those given/granted in the Constitution.
  • Can the President merely order the Army and Navy to take military action for any whim he may so choose? No, the President may only act after Congress has given him permission, or authority.
  • Can the President, as Commander in Chief, take any action he wishes?  No.  The President is only authorized to take those actions granted, or gifted, to him by Congress and our Constitution.  
  • May the President raise or build, and support the Army and Navy? No.  Only Congress has that power.  If Congress dissolves the Army and Navy, the President has no power as he has no Army or Navy with which to exercise that power.
  • May the President create a local “CIVILIAN DEFENSE FORCE”?  No.  There is ZERO authority for Federal entity solely “within a state” in the Constitution.  Only powers between the States, and the U.S. and foreign powers are within the purview of the Federal Government.
  • May Congress create a “Civilian Defense Force”?  No. Again, there is ZERO authority for such an entity in the Constitution or any Amendment to the Constitution.  Civilian Defense Force powers rest solely with the States.
  • What powers, if any, do States retain from the Federal Government?  All Local police powers, including “Civilian Defense Forces”, and war making powers if the State is being invaded or about to, and there is no time for delay.

Here are the powers I found in an initial skimming of our Original Constitution:

The Constitution of the United States

A Transcription  Note:The following text is a transcription of the Constitution in its original form. Items that are hyperlinked have since been amended or superseded.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article. I.

(ed note: Powers of the Congress: House of Representatives and the Senate)

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

. . .

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To  . . . provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; . . .

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

Section 10.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, . . . keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace,. . . engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Article. II.

(ed note: Powers of the Executive)

Section 1.

The President shall, …

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; …

Article. IV.

(ed note: State’s rights and issues)

Section. 4.

. . .

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. VI.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


Very few words.  Short in length aren’t they?  Welcome to genius.

There, in a very few words and sentences, are the authority and scope, of actions Congress and the President may legally take under our original Constitution.  Any further action MUST BE ABLE TO TRACE ITS LINEAGE AND AUTHORITY TO THESE WORDS !

Notice a separation of powers between Congress and the President.

Congress was, and is, given the SOLE powers to:

  • provide for the common defence,
  • creation of the Army
  • create the Navy
  • make rules and regulations for government of the army and navy,
  • providing for the organization, maintenance, and calling forth of Militia.  With the States providing a completely separate COMMAND STRUCTURE AND TRAINING STRUCTURE from the Federal authorities with local peoples.  (the militia IS NOT the National Guard, who is commanded and controlled by the Federal Government.  The militia is an American, local entity, armed with equivalent arms to the Army and Navy.)

The President:

  • is COMMANDER IN CHIEF of the Army and Navy, and Militia when Congress lawfully calls the Militia into service [I believe this is how Teddy Roosevelt was called into service with the Rough Riders in 1898.]
  • The President CANNOT legally make WAR until Congress declares war and authorizes the President to do so.

The States:

  • Retain power to authorize, raise, and train “the militia” and civilian police forces, as those powers were never given to the Federal Government.  Authority only extends within their State.
  • May engage in War IF, actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit delay.

Notice there are no local “police powers” included in the Constitution.  Authority for “local”, or “completely, within, or inside a state”, was and is, left with the States, as those powers were NEVER given, or granted, to the federal government.  Authority for “the militia” still resides with the States.  The States chooses the officers and conducts the training of the Militia.  If the Federal Government legally calls forth “the Militia”, the Commander in Chief cannot choose his own officers to control and command “the Militia”.  The Commander in Chief, must work with the “locally chosen” officers.

Rhetorically asked:  Where does authority come from for the Federal Government to have “police”?

Does the Federal Government have the authority to create a “Civilian Defense Force” equally as powerful and as well armed as the Army and Navy?

NO !


The federal Government was NEVER given or granted the Power to do so by “the People.”

(In the original Constitution, it does appear the States do have the authority to create their own Militia’s just as powerful, just as strong, as the military.  But probably lost that authority when Lincoln succeeded.)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is this simple.

May God Bless and Keep Safe, America and her Promise.


2 thoughts on “CONSTITUTION: War making and police powers

Talk Amongst Yourselves:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.